There are many reports documenting how millennials have lost interest in car ownership, but more than a few are lining up to buy Mustangs, Ford reported.
Ford (F) unveiled a revamped version of the iconic pony car at three separate simultaneous events in Detroit, Los Angeles, New York on Tuesday. The new car, which will be released in this fall, has a redesigned body, upgraded engines, and new technological features.
Ford said the Mustang is the best-selling sports car in the U.S. and around the world, but the upgrades aim to grab the attention of the young, diverse and international customers the company says are showing a growing interest in the brand.
"The Mustang is appealing to a greater audience nowadays," said Corey Holter, Ford's group marketing manager for North American Cars, in an interview with CNBC. He said the car is now the top-selling sports car among the growing population of Hispanic Americans, and among millennials, who had had a reputation for foregoing car ownership (though that assertion has been recently challenged.)
"We have seen significant sales growth among both of those audiences," Holter said.
The base model still comes with either a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder "EcoBoost" engine, and the GT version carries a 5.0-liter V-8. Ford has not released data on top speed or acceleration yet.
It also comes with a magnetic suspension system, LED lights only, and a customizable digital instrument cluster on the dashboard, among other features. There is even an "active exhaust" option on the GT, which can adjust the sound the exhaust pipes make as the driver presses the gas pedal.
The Mustang was sold only in North America until Ford began exporting them with its 2015 model. Now it is sold in 140 markets worldwide. The company even makes right-hand drive versions for markets such as the United Kingdom, alongside all other Mustangs at Ford's plant in Flatrock, Michigan.
"Being such an iconic car and being in so many movies, people know what it is," Holter said. "Since the launch of the 2015 Mustang, we have sold 350,000 cars globally, outside of the U.S. A lot of these countries have Mustang clubs and devoted fans. To be able to get the Mustang, not just old, or through grey market imports, but direct from the factory is big to a lot of these folks. So we are seeing sales absolutely take off in some of these markets."